Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Nutella Ganache Topping

Creamy peanut butter cheesecake is layered over an Oreo crust and topped with rich nutella ganache!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Nutella Ganache Topping by @TheRedheadBaker

I love cheesecake. Can you tell? If I had to pick something to call my “signature dish,” it’d be cheesecake.

So when Carla over at Chocolate Moosey told me about a blog event called Cheesecake Day hosted by Roxana of Roxana’s Home Baking, I jumped to sign up.

I had a heck of a time trying to choose a cheesecake recipe to make. Should I go chocolate-y? Fruity? Then, we spent Father’s Day at one of our favorite Philly restaurants, Catahoula, and they had a fabulous peanut butter cheesecake on the dessert menu. I had to recreate that cheesecake at home.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Nutella Ganache Topping by @TheRedheadBaker

The question I see most often regarding cheesecakes is how to prevent it from cracking. First, ensure all of your ingredients (not just the cream cheese) are at room temperature. This ensures that they will blend together well. And secondly, even if the recipe you’re following doesn’t include it, use a water bath.

What is a water bath, and what does it do for cheesecake? To make a water bath, you place your springform pan inside a larger baking pan, and pour boiling water into the larger pan before placing the whole setup in the oven.

Why go to the extra trouble? First, cheesecakes are thickened with eggs. Eggs set (cook) at a much lower temperature than most other baking ingredients. Cheesecakes start off baking at a high temperature to set the cake, then finishing “low and slow” (at a low temperature for a long time). If the egg proteins cook too quickly, they will tighten up and shrink, causing your cheesecake to crack. The water bath acts as insulation, keeping the batter from overheating and cooking the egg proteins too quickly.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Nutella Ganache by @TheRedheadBaker

One final trick to preventing cracks is to let the cheesecake cool slowly. And definitely use a paring knife to separate the cheesecake from the springform pan before placing it in the refrigerator. The cake will definitely shrink once chilled, and if it’s still clinging to the side of the pan, it can crack.

Although, if after all these precautions are taken, and the cheesecake still cracks, I just remember the wise words of a chef at my culinary school: cover the cheesecake with some sort of topping! Whether it’s melted chocolate or whipped cream, or fresh fruit, just cover up the crack! No sense in wasting a perfectly tasty, if slightly imperfect, cheesecake.

This cheesecake is just amazing. The cheesecake itself is light and creamy, almost silky, which contrasts with the thick, rich ganache topping. The combination of chocolate and peanut butter and Nutella is one of my favorite flavor combos.

This recipe is definitely getting added to my “Must make again!!” file.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Nutella Ganache Topping by @TheRedheadBaker

5.0 from 2 reviews
Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Ganache Topping
 
Equipment needed: 8-inch springform pan; large offset spatula; a 10-inch or larger cake pan
Serves: 12
Ingredients
For the cheesecake:
  • 15 Oreo cookies, cream removed
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
For the ganache:
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup Nutella spread
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the Oreo cookies and the sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until reduced to fine crumbs. Add butter to the crumbs, pulse until all ingredients are moistened.
  3. Scrape crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan and tamp down to an even layer. Wrap the bottom of the springform pan in a double layer of tin foil. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool. Keep oven at 350 degrees.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, brown sugar and sour cream for several minutes. Scrape down the bowl, then add the first egg. Beat until well-combined, then scrape down the bowl and add the second egg. Beat until well-combined, then scrape down the bowl and add the third egg and the vanilla. Beat until well-combined. Add peanut butter and mix until evenly combined.
  5. Scrape the batter into the springform pan and spread evenly.
  6. Place the springform pan inside the larger cake pan. Carefully pour boiling water into the larger cake pan, being sure not to splash any into the cheesecake batter.
  7. Use oven mitts to carefully transfer the cheesecake in the water bath into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temp to 200 degrees, and bake for another 2 hours.
  8. Remove from the oven, and remove the cheesecake from the water bath. Let cheesecake cool at room temperature for at least an hour.
  9. Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides. Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.
  10. The next day, remove the sides of the springform pan from the cheesecake. Then, make the ganache: place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the cream to scalding (small bubbles form around the edge of the pan). DO NOT BOIL. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, let sit for a minute, then stir until the chocolate is melted and incorporated with the cream. Stir in the gananche. The ganache should be pourable/spreadable consistency. If too thick, add another tablespoonful of cream and stir.
  11. Transfer the ganache to a spouted measuring cup. Pour over the center of the cheesecake, then use an offset spatula to spread to the edges of the cheesecake, letting the ganache drip down the sides.
  12. Place cheesecake back in the refrigerator, uncovered, for an hour to set the ganache. Then place a cover (such as a large tupperware bowl) over the cheesecake to prevent the ganache from seeping.

Cheesecake recipe adapted from Bake or Break; Ganache recipe from Culinary Couture

Don’t forget to check out the other Cheesecake Day recipes!

Baked Cheesecakes:

No Bake Cheesecakes:

Cheesecake Beverages:

Cheesecake Cookies and Bars:

Cheesecake Desserts and Treats:

Frozen Cheesecakes and Treats:

Comments

  1. says

    Now this totally screams my name. I love peanut butter and chocolate together. They are such classic flavors together but I can never ever get enough. Pairing them with cream cheese is soooo amazing.

  2. says

    Hi Coleen! Excellent post, girl. I knew about the tips on how to avoid cracks but I didn’t know that part of the reason cheesecake cracks is because of the egg protein. Thanks for teaching me something new today! Your cheesecake looks incredible, especially with that perfect, glossy ganache. If i had this in front of me, I wouldn’t be sharing, that’s for sure!

  3. says

    As much as I love cheesecake and as much as I love peanut butter pie—-I am in heaven with this recipe. I had to put my harp down, however, because it interfered with me eating a nice creamy slice of this.

  4. says

    WHOA. I eat peanut butter by the spoonful, so I really need a piece of this cheesecake soon. So lovely to be sharing cheesecake day with you–cheers!

  5. says

    Ahhhh, the pairing knife before putting in the fridge. I need to do that next time. This is gorgeous! And I LOVE peanut butter and Nutella together. Like they were made for each other. Yumm! Pinned!

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